Published May 29, 2009
I know ultimately I have to do what I feel is right in my own heart. However I am interested to see what others may think and get another point of view besides my own and that of my close cirle of friends.
The year was 1993, I was a foster child and lived in a home. I was one credit short of graduating high school a year early. Because I was in foster care I was told I would have to take an entire senior year of high school instead of graduating a year early in the summer or taking a one class school year. With no other options I picked out a full day of classes and I decided to attend a vocational school in the am and regular highschool in the afternoon. In the am I took the CNA class. In the afternoon I took all honors courses.
I fell in love with nursing, it seemed as if it were a calling. By the end of my senior year (1994) I had a 4.0 in nursing and the highest nursing GPA in the parish (county everywhere elses). I was awarded a fully paid schollarship to go to LPN school. I was told by my case worker that the state would send me to the local university to get my BSN and that the LPN program would be a waste of time. So on this advice I turned down the LPN schollarship.
After my first semester of pre reqs my case worker informed me that there had just been state cut backs and now the state would not be able to pay my tuition and education that was promised me. On top of that the university sent me a bill for my classes, room and board and meals. I was told not only would I have to now pay all of my back tuition and fees but also next semesters fees and tuition in advance. I had elleven days to come up with an amount which was well more that a college student with no family could then afford.
From that point I was left with going back to LPN school. I went through two rounds of testing and had the third highest marks out of 355 applicants. I sat with the dean of Nursing for the vocational school and he informed me that although I could get complete scholorships and all of my books and tuition paid for, that there were no programs that he knew of that were available to pay for my rent, living expenses or transportation to and from school and to clinicals. I told him that I would work a part time job and he said that the course load was too heavy for anyone to earn enough to live off of without assistance and he said it would be impossible to do both. Looking back now I see two errors I made because of "bad advice".
By Spring of 1995 I had hoped to find work and save enough to return to school on my own. For two years I drifted a dollar more here a dollar more there always hoping to save enough but enough never came. Finally in the spring of 1997 I started a carrer as a Merchant Mariner. After a couple of more years I was making more money than anyone I knew. I met a girl, bought a house a year later, had a daughter two years after, and my wants and dreams became second.
Fast forward seven years. I have a daughter seven years old who lives with her mother and new father. Two houses, two vehicles, and two Harleys. And everything will be paid off in 4 more years. I am currently taking coarses to finish as many pre requisites as possible for my future. My passion may have been subdued but never extinguished. I will be finishing first LPN, then bridging to ASN then BSN. I will have everything paid off and enough to live off of for 3 or 4 years while nursing and going to school. But as they say "man plans and God laughs".
So now that you know the background, here comes the question, "should I stay in a job I dislike for financial security?" I think not. Some of my friends point out that I am throwing away security for uncertinty. That even fully licensed in nursing, I would be giving up about 100K a year in salary, and about 1 million difference in ten years. Some have even suggested this may be a midlife crisis. However I disagree. None the less because of the sincerity of my inner circle, I feel it is at least prudent to get the opinion from an outside point of view.
So, what do you think? Am I correct in following my heart and after years realizing what I have wanted all of this time? Or is there any soliderity to what others close to me are saying? In the words of one LPN instructor I spoke to last week "It is unfathomable to me that you would quit the carrer you have and go to LPN school. There is no way I could justify that in my head" Ouch! For a nursing school instructor to tell me that, it really made me think, so that spawned the creation of this post. No matter what the general consesus is, I will make up my own mind and do what I want, but, I would still value your proffesional opinions.
i have always thought that you 'do what you love, and love what you do' type of philosophy. if nursing is what you truly have your heart set on, then by all means, go for it! there is more to life than money. and if you continue on with your nursing career, you can make a pretty decent living with it. you may never make what you are currently making, but you may at least come close. as long as you can financially afford to change careers and still be comfortably and not have the increased stress of trying to make ends meet, then as nike says, 'just do it!'
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